NSA spying and the 2013 revelations of Edward Snowden

Trudeau government appeals ruling on illegal actions of Canada’s secret police

By Hugo Maltais, 1 December 2020

On numerous occasions, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service hid from the court that its warrant requests were based on information it had obtained in violation of the law.

NSA surveillance program exposed by Edward Snowden ruled illegal by US Ninth Circuit

By Kevin Reed, 5 September 2020

The US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the bulk phone record collection program of the NSA—exposed by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden in 2013—violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

Trump’s suggestion of a pardon for Edward Snowden meets US intelligence community backlash

By Kevin Reed, 19 August 2020

Democrats and Republicans with close ties to the intelligence agencies have launched a campaign of opposition after the president said he would look into the case of the former NSA contractor who exposed illegal mass surveillance.

Catalan politicians’ phones hacked by government-grade spyware

By Alice Summers, 24 July 2020

The hacking occurred under the premiership of Pedro Sánchez of the Spanish Socialist Party, which is now backed by the pseudo-left Podemos party.

Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approves anti-encryption EARN IT Act

By Kevin Reed, 16 July 2020

The bipartisan vote passed to the floor of the Senate a redraft of the bill which exploits online child sexual abuse as a cover to attack free speech and encrypted electronic communications.

Crypto AG leaks: German and American spy agencies snooped on 120 countries

By Gregor Link, 13 March 2020

Under the code names “Rubicon” and “Minerva,” Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service (BND) together with the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had monitored the encrypted government communications of almost half the countries on earth for decades.

House Democrats work overtime to renew US government surveillance law

By Kevin Reed, 12 March 2020

Leading Democrats forced a bipartisan bill onto the House floor that approves the continued spying on US citizens in violation of fundamental democratic rights.

US spied on governments for decades through secret ownership of Swiss encryption firm

By Kevin Reed, 13 February 2020

The revelations that the CIA and NSA have been spying on the diplomatic cables of governments around the world for the past five decades demonstrates that the American imperialism has long operated as a law unto itself in world affairs.

Edward Snowden warns that Assange and Greenwald prosecutions mark new stage in assault on press freedom

By Oscar Grenfell, 30 January 2020

The NSA whistleblower wrote: “The most essential journalism of every era is precisely that which a government attempts to silence. These prosecutions demonstrate that they are ready to stop the presses—if they can.”

Federal judge rules US government is entitled to seize proceeds from Edward Snowden’s book sales and speaking fees

By Kevin Reed, 20 December 2019

A federal court ruled Tuesday in favor of the Justice Department’s lawsuit seeking all proceeds from the whistleblower’s recent memoir Permanent Record.

Exiled NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden condemns persecution of Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning

By Kevin Reed, 9 December 2019

Edward Snowden gave an interview via live video link to The Right Livelihood Awards in Stockholm, in which he categorically defended WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange and imprisoned whistleblower Chelsea Manning.

Pentagon awards $10 billion cloud computing contract to Microsoft

By Kevin Reed, 1 November 2019

Amazon was widely expected to win the ten-year agreement, but Trump’s intervention apparently tipped the contract to Microsoft.

UK police gain access to details of thousands of men, women and children through government’s Prevent database

By Barry Mason, 19 October 2019

In the three years up to March last year, 21,042 individuals were referred to the Prevent programme, giving the police full access to their private information.

Edward Snowden: The man who exposed the electronic surveillance of everyone by US intelligence

By Kevin Reed, 12 October 2019

The memoir Permanent Record by the former intelligence contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden is an important account of the life of the man behind the exposure of secret global electronic surveillance programs run by the NSA and CIA.

CIA spied on Assange’s lawyers, visitors in Ecuadorian embassy

By Oscar Grenfell, 11 October 2019

The El País report indicates that the US pursuit of Assange has included the illegal surveillance of American lawyers and journalists, in violation of the US Constitution.

FISA court documents expose illegal FBI mass surveillance

By Kevin Reed, 10 October 2019

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a series of previously classified documents and secret rulings that provide details of illegal spying on US citizens by the federal agency.

210 Snowden book review

8 October 2019

220 Snowden book review

7 October 2019

Democrats praise CIA whistleblower on Ukraine, persecute Manning, Assange and Snowden

By Andre Damon, 30 September 2019

While the Democrats declare that “Congress must do all it can to protect… all whistleblowers,” they support exile and prison for the men and women who have exposed the crimes of US imperialism.

Spanish security firm spied on Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy for US intelligence

By Kevin Reed, 28 September 2019

A defense and security firm based in Spain that was hired to protect the Ecuadorian embassy in London provided secret audio and video recordings of Julian Assange to US intelligence.

US Justice Department sues Edward Snowden to block proceeds of memoir

By Kevin Reed, 23 September 2019

The 26-page lawsuit is aimed at intimidating other whistleblowers and publishers who might be thinking about telling the truth and exposing the crimes of the US government.

Trump administration calls for permanent restoration of bulk phone communications surveillance

By Kevin Reed, 19 August 2019

The outgoing director of National Intelligence appealed to Congress for the restoration of the surveillance program that was exposed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

US military testing domestic wide-area surveillance with high-altitude balloons

By Kevin Reed, 8 August 2019

The balloons also have high-resolution cameras capable of recording panoramic images that are then stitched together to provide a wide-area view of entire cities.

Massive photo databases secretly gathered in US and Europe to develop facial recognition

By Kevin Reed, 17 July 2019

Large digital face and “selfie” photo databases have been used by state agencies, software engineers and researchers involved in perfecting AI algorithms and image pattern analyses.

House Democrats back facial recognition technology in Washington hearing

By Kevin Reed, 12 July 2019

The plans by the federal police organizations to press forward with facial recognition and biometric identification regardless of any public concerns were made explicit by the panel of those testifying at the hearing.

11 July 2019

A mounting attack on democratic rights

FBI and ICE scanning driver’s license photos with facial recognition technology

By Kevin Reed, 10 July 2019

Behind the backs of the public, integrated networks, databases and artificial intelligence technologies are being used to build up information in the form of digital profiles on every citizen.

Hack of Department of Homeland Security contractor exposes government surveillance of drivers on US roads and border crossings

By Kevin Reed, 8 July 2019

A group of transparency advocates hacked and published the extensive infrastructure of government surveillance of drivers on roadways and at border crossings.

Facial recognition technology and the US military-intelligence apparatus

By Kevin Reed, 27 June 2019

The banning of facial recognition software by major California cities has exposed the advanced use of biometrics and artificial intelligence by the domestic surveillance state and the Pentagon war machine.

US House votes down amendment to block NSA collection of the personal communications of American citizens

By Kevin Reed, 26 June 2019

The US House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to reject a bipartisan proposal to halt warrantless collection of the personal communications of citizens under provisions of Section 702 of the FISA Act.

US schools hiring private companies to spy on students’ social media

By Trévon Austin, 17 September 2018

Monitoring students’ social media accounts is a violation of privacy, revealing the partnership of the US government and tech companies in internet surveillance and censorship.

NSA leaker Reality Winner sentenced to more than five years in prison

By Kevin Martinez, 27 August 2018

Winner is the first person to be tried by the Trump Administration under the Espionage Act, receiving the longest ever sentence for revealing classified documents.

TSA tracks unsuspecting passengers under “Quiet Skies” program

By Kevin Martinez, 1 August 2018

The program allows federal air marshals to follow and report on American citizens not suspected of a crime, not under investigation, and not on any terrorist watch list.

AT&T colludes with the NSA to carry out massive illegal surveillance

By Meenakshi Jagadeesan, 29 June 2018

A new investigative report by the Intercept reveals the highly institutionalized collusion between AT&T and the National Security Agency, enabling massive Internet surveillance.

By Barry Grey, 31 May 2018

White House and ex-intelligence chiefs push torture veteran as CIA director

By Bill Van Auken, 9 May 2018

With a public Senate hearing set for Wednesday, supporters of Gina Haspel for the post of CIA director argue that her role in the agency’s torture program is outweighed by her anti-Russia record.

Report shows NSA tripled its domestic surveillance operations in 2017

By E.P. Milligan, 7 May 2018

In addition to spying on US citizens, the agency monitored record numbers of foreign individuals living outside the United States.

Palantir Technologies: A “CIA-backed startup”

By Julie Hyland, 3 April 2018

Palantir’s clients include a disproportionate number of US military, state and intelligence agencies, among them the CIA, NSA, FBI and Homeland Security.

Daniel Golden’s Spy Schools: How the CIA, FBI, and foreign intelligence secretly exploit America’s universities

By Clara Weiss, 28 February 2018

The new book by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Daniel Golden is an important contribution toward understanding the military-intelligence-university complex in the United States.

Extension of warrantless NSA spying, with bipartisan support, heads to Trump for signature

By Fred Mazelis, 20 January 2018

Lopsided votes in both the US Senate and House reflect the role of Democrats as a party of American imperialism.

House Democrats supply votes to block limits on NSA spying

By Niles Niemuth, 13 January 2018

The Democratic Party’s support ensures the illegal surveillance program that began under George W. Bush and was expanded by Obama will pass unscathed into the hands of Donald Trump.

Warrantless spying on US citizens sanctioned by Pentagon, training documents indicate

By Zaida Green, 15 November 2017

US citizens and legal residents with zero connections to terrorists can be designated as “homegrown violent extremists” and subjected to warrantless surveillance.

Germany: Public prosecutor drops investigation into NSA spying

By Justus Leicht and Peter Schwarz, 13 October 2017

The massive spying operation on millions of innocent people carried out by US, British and German intelligence agencies will have no legal consequences in Germany.

NSA documents expose secret US spying program in Ethiopia

By Eddie Haywood, 18 September 2017

The spying operations established by Washington in Ethiopia are a key element of the broader drive by imperialist strategists to assert US dominance over the region and the Horn of Africa.

Amazon and the CIA: a match made in hell

Part Two: Amazon, war propaganda, and the suppression of free speech

By Evan Blake, 14 July 2017

Amazon won the confidence of the CIA through its suppression of WikiLeaks, and since constructing the C2S cloud has become ever more deeply connected to the military-intelligence apparatus.

What accounts for the success of the WannaCrypt ransomware attack on Britain’s National Health Service?

By Steve James, 23 May 2017

For nearly two decades, IT services within the NHS have become the target of private firms seeking to turn public health into a source of stable revenue streams for their shareholders.

UK government seeks additional surveillance powers, including overriding encryption

By Barry Mason, 20 May 2017

The UK government is seeking to implement policies that would, as one commentator put it, “effectively make strong and unbreakable encryption illegal.”

The global ransomware attack and the crimes of the US spy agencies

By Andre Damon, 16 May 2017

The cyberweapons created by the NSA are aimed not only against the geopolitical targets of US imperialism, but the populations of the United States and the entire world.

Worldwide ransomware attack linked to hacked NSA cyberwarfare arsenal

By Kevin Reed, 13 May 2017

The outbreak is connected to the public release in April by the hacking group calling itself Shadow Brokers of a trove of NSA and CIA cyberwarfare documents and computer code.

US steps up campaign against Julian Assange

By Barry Grey, 22 April 2017

The World Socialist Web Site condemns the reported preparations of the US Justice Department to charge WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange with espionage and issue an arrest warrant against him.

CIA Director calls WikiLeaks an “enemy,” says Assange has “no First Amendment freedoms”

By Eric London, 15 April 2017

Pompeo’s speech lays out the new standard: the First Amendment only applies to speech that the CIA deems tolerable.

Settlement reached in lawsuits against NYPD’s illegal surveillance of Muslims

By Philip Guelpa, 6 April 2017

The settlement of a pair of long-standing lawsuits provides only a fig leaf to cover the NYPD’s extensive surveillance of Muslims and others.

US House votes to repeal internet protections

Trump expected to sign anti-privacy measure into law

By Kevin Reed, 1 April 2017

Congress has decided that internet providers own the information that consumers provide when they use the internet to shop, browse or message.

Senate votes to repeal FCC internet privacy regulations

By Bryan Dyne, 27 March 2017

If signed into law, the new legislation would give the American intelligence agencies access to even greater means for spying on the population.

US Customs and Border Protection searched nearly 25,000 phones in 2016

By Niles Niemuth, 15 March 2017

The number of phone searches is expected to more than double in 2017, targeting anyone, including US citizens and legal residents, as they enter the country.

WikiLeaks revelations raise new questions about the death of journalist Michael Hastings

By Bryan Dyne, 9 March 2017

Hastings was investigating CIA Director John Brennan when he was killed in a June 2013 car crash.

WikiLeaks reveals vast CIA spying, cyberwar operation

By Bill Van Auken, 8 March 2017

Amid Democrats’ claims of Russian hacking in support of Trump and Trump’s charge that he was bugged by Obama, WikiLeaks has revealed a vast CIA operation directed against the people of the US and the world.

US Federal Court rules that Google must turn over emails stored abroad

By Isaac Finn, 9 February 2017

The court’s ruling reverses a recent legal precedent that allows corporations to withhold data related to criminal investigations as long as it is stored abroad.

FBI secret manuals allow for warrantless stalking of journalists

By Zaida Green, 4 February 2017

More than 1,000 pages of FBI guidelines obtained by The Intercept detail the expansion of the agency’s spy powers under the Obama administration, now inherited by Trump.

Trump delivers diatribe against press at CIA headquarters

By Barry Grey, 23 January 2017

Trump’s attack on the corporate-controlled press underscores the degree of tension and conflict within the state as the new administration takes office.

UK: Spying powers used more than 55,000 times by local government agencies

By Trevor Johnson, 19 January 2017

Under the RIPA spying apparatus, local councils in Britain launched 2,800 separate surveillance operations lasting up to 90 days each.

Only days before Trump’s inauguration

Obama expands NSA spying

By George Gallanis, 14 January 2017

Under new rules imposed by the Obama administration, the NSA can now share the personal communications data of millions of people with 16 other US intelligence agencies, such as the FBI.

FBI informant at Best Buy’s Geek Squad conducted warrantless searches of customers’ devices

By Zaida Green, 14 January 2017

Best Buy’s “Geek Squad” central repair team had at least one supervisor that was an active FBI informant who was paid $500 and subsequently discovered allegedly incriminating evidence.

WikiLeaks data reveals close cooperation between German intelligence and NSA

By Sven Heymanns, 6 January 2017

Some of the emails published by Wikileaks show the panicked reaction of the spy agencies to the revelations made by Edward Snowden in 2013.

US government collecting social media accounts of visitors to country

By E.P. Milligan, 31 December 2016

The request is part of the online Electronic System for Travel Authorization, a visa waiver application that many visitors must complete before traveling to the United States.

European Court verdict no obstacle to UK state surveillance

By Robert Stevens, 24 December 2016

The Investigatory Powers Act is a staggering and unprecedented attack on the rights and privacy of every UK citizen.

Edward Snowden accused of having Russian intelligence ties

By Matthew MacEgan, 23 December 2016

A recently declassified House Intelligence Committee report smears Snowden as a dishonest miscreant who stole information for Moscow’s and his own personal gain.

Canada’s top spy “watchdog” says Edward Snowden should be shot

By Roger Jordan, 15 December 2016

The Liberal government has lamely criticized the head of the Security Intelligence Review Committee for calling for NSA-whistleblower Edward Snowden to be shot.

Obama rejects pardon for Snowden

By Jerry White, 21 November 2016

In an interview with German media outlets, Obama rejected a presidential pardon for NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden.

French government creates illegal database on over 60 million citizens

By Anthony Torres, 14 November 2016

By setting up a single database monitoring the entire French population, the Socialist Party government is arming the state with vast repressive powers.

050 ATT spies on Americans for profit

27 October 2016

Surveillance requests expand by 500 percent in Washington, DC

By Nick Barrickman, 27 October 2016

Court dockets released to the ACLU in July show that federal officials’ requests to conduct electronic surveillance on the population in the DC metropolitan region has skyrocketed in recent years.

One out of two Americans in facial recognition databases

By Shelley Connor, 20 October 2016

A recent report by Georgetown Law Center reveals that half of American adults are in photo recognition databases maintained by law enforcement agencies.

Yahoo spied on “hundreds of millions” of email accounts on behalf of US spy agencies

By Nick Barrickman, 6 October 2016

The revelation further reveals the near-seamless collusion of the major internet and telecommunications firms with the US intelligence apparatus.

Oliver Stone’s Snowden: The NSA is “running a dragnet on the whole world”

By Joanne Laurier and David Walsh, 20 September 2016

Veteran American filmmaker Oliver Stone has made a movie about National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Edward Snowden speaks live in 800 theaters across North America

By Toby Reese, 17 September 2016

Following a “sneak preview” of Oliver Stone’s new film, Snowden, he and NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden participated in a live interview September 14.

Drone Valley: the University of California and the business of high-tech slaughter

By Toby Reese, 9 September 2016

The appointment of a number of new academics and scientists to the University of California, San Diego’s (UCSD) Contextual Robotics Institute is bound up with the US drive to war.

UK: Review of Investigatory Powers Bill gives all-clear to mass surveillance

By Trevor Johnson, 7 September 2016

Anderson’s report is a cover for the real aim of the Investigatory Powers Bill—to increase the power of the state to monitor the population for potential threats to ruling class interests.

FBI director says agency preparing attack on data encryption after the elections

By Kevin Reed, 5 September 2016

In a keynote address to cyber security specialists, FBI Director James Comey elaborated on plans to force a backdoor into encrypted private data and communications.

Hacker group releases malware codes attributed to National Security Agency

By Nick Barrickman, 18 August 2016

A group called the Shadow Brokers released computer code reportedly taken from the NSA, which had been used for hacking the networks of foreign rivals of the US.

New York court allows police to cover up mass surveillance operations

By Daniel de Vries, 10 June 2016

The NYPD's successful denial of an open records request about spying operation sets a potentially far-reaching precedent.

US intelligence agencies expand electronic surveillance worldwide

By Thomas Gaist, 6 May 2016

Congress is reviewing statutory changes to a little known “Rule 41” that will allow the FBI and other security agencies to hack and spy on computers and networks anywhere in the world, based on a single, non-specific warrant.

Microsoft sues US Justice Department over secret data requests

By Josh Varlin, 16 April 2016

The company’s complaint makes clear that it regularly receives requests from the government for its customers’ private data stored on Microsoft’s remote servers.

University of California installs secret spyware system

By Norisa Diaz, 24 March 2016

The UC board president and ex-homeland security chief, Janet Napolitano, has overseen the installation of a massive spyware system.

US government delays hearing in Apple iPhone encryption case

By Niles Williamson, 23 March 2016

Until the DOJ’s filing on Monday, the US government held that it lacked the means to access the contents of the encrypted phone without the direct assistance of Apple engineers.

New Zealand government plans further expansion of spy powers

By Tom Peters, 19 March 2016

Backed by the Labour Party, the government is preparing to effectively merge the internal and external spy agencies and remove restrictions on mass surveillance.

Obama backs attack on encrypted communication

By Evan Blake, 14 March 2016

Speaking at the South by Southwest festival, Obama sought to minimize the far-reaching scope of the FBI’s demands that Apple create anti-encryption software.

UK bill hands vast surveillance powers to police and intelligence agencies

By Barry Mason, 14 March 2016

ISPs will have to keep records of the browsing history of everyone who accesses the Internet for 12 months, with this data freely available to the police and the GCHQ.

Pentagon deploying drone aircraft within the US

By Joseph Kishore, 12 March 2016

The use of military drones is part of a broader expansion of domestic military activity, under the cover of the “war on terror,” which is a serious warning to the working class.

Leading tech firms join Apple suit over iPhone encryption

By Thomas Gaist, 5 March 2016

FBI demands for access to Apple encryption systems are fueling divisions within the US political and corporate elite.

FBI director, Apple lawyer testify before Congress on encryption dispute

By Barry Grey, 2 March 2016

The hearing indicated that a majority on the House Judiciary Committee will support a law compelling tech firms to provide the government backdoor access to encrypted information.

Apple counters government demands as White House expands NSA data sharing

By Tom Hall, 27 February 2016

Thursday’s court filing by Apple accused the government of seeking to establish a precedent to “conscript” American corporations into spying on the population.

New York police used military-grade cellphone surveillance equipment over 1,000 times

By Isaac Finn, 25 February 2016

The NYPD has disclosed documents on its extensive use of a mobile cellphone surveillance device known as “StingRay.”

The assault on encryption and the drive to expand police state spying

By Joseph Kishore, 24 February 2016

With its highly public court battle over access to an encrypted phone, the Obama administration is seeking to expand spying powers and counter the popular anger that followed the revelations by Edward Snowden.

White House spearheads assault on cell phone encryption

By Andre Damon, 23 February 2016

The Obama administration’s demand that Apple hack a single iPhone is the spearhead of a concerted drive to undermine the use of encryption worldwide.

White House steps up drive to outlaw encryption

By Andre Damon, 19 February 2016

Tuesday’s ruling by a US judge demanding that Apple create a “backdoor” to its mobile device operating system is part of the drive to weaken, or even criminalize, encrypted communications.

FBI wins court order forcing Apple to install backdoor in iPhone security systems

By Thomas Gaist, 18 February 2016

The Obama administration is seeking to use last year’s attacks in San Bernardino to intensify the assault on democratic rights and expand the police-state spying powers of the government.

Canada’s spy agencies illegally collected and shared personal information

By Roger Jordan, 3 February 2016

The Liberal government has sought to downplay the latest exposure of illegal acts committed by Canada’s intelligence agencies.

CIA planned rendition operation to kidnap Edward Snowden

By Thomas Gaist, 30 January 2016

The CIA stationed a plane in Copenhagen for the specific purpose of seizing the whistleblower, documents published by Danish media on Thursday show.

Obama seeks Silicon Valley aid to spy on social media

By Thomas Gaist, 9 January 2016

A delegation of top Obama administration officials met with tech industry leaders Friday as part of efforts to step up government spying on social media and other online communications.